On the way out the door this morning, I saw that one of my cactus buds were likely going to bloom today. You might recognize it from the center image of these three bought at the cactus show a couple weeks ago. A Mammillaria longimamma, I had also posted an anaglyph 3d image of the first flower a week or 10 days ago. This morning, it looked about ready to pop, as shown at right... So what could I do but set up the camera and intervalometer to record it for a possible time lapse? I set it up for an exposure every 3 minutes, so got 20 frames per hour for what turned out to be exactly 10 hours! I had set the aperture to F/9 to keep most of the flower sharp, and guessed what it would look like so the bloom would be centered. I also used a ball cap fastened to the tripod to keep the sun off the camera for the duration. Mostly, it looks like I lucked out!
When I got home from work late in the afternoon, the flower had nearly finished closing, even though the sun was still shining on it. I was expecting it to stay open as long as the sun shone, but that wasn't correct. I let the sequence go on a little more, then after tonight's astronomy club meeting, loaded the images to inspect them. It was a lovely flower, waving perhaps in the strong breeze today,shown at left as open as it attained. And taking only a frame every 3 minutes, only caught one pollinator - a bee shown at right. This image is shown at full resolution to record all the details the macro captured. I may shoot it again tomorrow, as the last flower lasted a good couple days, and a comparison to the first day's bloom might be of interest.
And as promised, I loaded the 200 frames into Moviemaker and made the 20 second time lapse, displaying the images at 10 frames per second. I ended up running the sequence twice to round it out to 40 seconds long.
There were some interesting things visible in the clip - the flower waving as it opened might be partially due to wind, but seems like it would be more "vibration" than the waving observed. Also the small fingers and next bud to bloom also move around and wave some during the 10 hour period. Fun stuff - glad it was able to run unattended - isn't technology wonderful?!